At the end of April this year, we made it to Zagreb and to Eurocon in spite of the Murphy’s law — and indeed, whatever could go wrong, did so, and so it happened that I didn’t get to Zagreb with the group I planned to come with, but with another bunch of friends. Which also meant that I would spend the first night there alone, in a small apartment we arranged to be in for the duration of the convention.
It’s not that I’m afraid of being alone, not even if it’s in a city I’ve barely visited before (that is, I’ve seen the bus and the railway stations while passing through, if that counts as visiting). It’s just that I’m not used to be alone in an unknown city, and on top of that, the few days before the trip were totally crazy, the Murphy’s law hitting us hard, making the arrangements change within every two hours.
So there I was, late at night, after managing to take a shower and make my bed, tired from the trip (about 450km), tired from all the excitement of meeting new people, some of them writers I already talked to over the Internet, some of them writers and agents and science fiction/fantasy fans from all over the world (mostly Europe). I’ve met Tim Powers! Wow! I’ve even managed to talk to him a little! Yay! And Charlie Stross! And… You get the picture. I was definitely tired, but couldn’t sleep yet. I was looking at the shadows instead.
I know what the late night shadows on the walls of my home look like. I’m used to them. But these shadows, they were new. They were mostly cast by the branches which were slightly moving in the wind. But that one, was it a branch? Without getting out of bed, I looked through the window. That shadow was cast by that branch, the other one by that one over there, but what about this shadow? It could be this branch, or maybe that part there, or… It was so confusing, and I was tired and unable to think clearly. I shouldn’t be thinking anyway, I should be sleeping, getting some rest. And yet I wasn’t sleeping, not yet, I was looking at the shadows dancing on the walls.
Eventually I did fall asleep (and woke up way to early, and wasn’t really able to sleep some more). And there were new excitements, and interesting stuff to hear — so much interesting stuff that I couldn’t make it to all the panels I wanted to attend. And I’ve learned some interesting things about electronic publishing, and the traditional publishing. And I’ve met some really cool people. And yet, the impression of the unknown shadows dancing on the walls is still just as strong as meeting new people and listening to great panels and learning new things about writing and publishing.
Have you experienced something similar, that something not-so-important leaves just as strong an impression as the truly great things you experienced at about the same time?